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Energy Tomorrow Blog

EPA and Prolonging Keystone XL’s Review

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  greenhouse gas emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 3, 2015

After more than six years of delaying, blocking, sidetracking and goalpost-shifting on the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House clearly knows something about political football – specifically, using all of the above to keep Keystone XL on the drawing board and out of the ground.

It’s not a game to the American workers who’ve seen coveted jobs delayed, nor is it fun for the entire country, in terms of blocked economic stimulus and sidetracked energy security.

Now EPA is tagging in with an out-of-left-field assessment of the State Department’s final environmental review. We say that because State’s environmental report was completed a year ago – making five reviews that all basically said Keystone XL would not significantly impact the environment, climate or otherwise.  

While other involved federal agencies recently weighed in on the pipeline’s importance to U.S. national interests, EPA – at the 13th hour – says current crude oil prices make it important to “revisit” State’s environmental conclusions.

Nonsense.

Unfortunately, for an administration that has practically made a badge of honor out of stiff-arming Keystone XL – in the face of bipartisan congressional support and the broad favor of the American people – EPA is simply providing another excuse for the White House to continue doing nothing.

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America’s Energy Reality – and Potential

keystone xl  emissions  lng exports  Economy  jobs  arctic  alaska  policy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 29, 2015

National Journal: Over the past six years, the Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline has become a powerful symbol in the midst of a national debate over energy security and climate change. Opponents warn that construction would speed Canadian oil-sands development, which could spell "game over" for the planet. But despite its iconic status, Keystone would generate far fewer emissions than the nation's fleet of power plants, a source of emissions that the president has pledged to crack down on as part of his climate agenda.

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American Energy’s Staying Power

domestic oil production  crude prices  methane emissions  keystone xl pipeline  state department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 20, 2015

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The new year has seen crude oil prices continue to stumble and U.S. oil production continue to soar, and those trends are not likely to subside — at least in the short term.

Total U.S. crude oil production reached 9.1 million barrels per day (bbl/d) during the week ending Jan. 9, an increase over last year’s total of 8.1 million, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

And that figure is expected to grow. The agency forecasts total crude production will average 9.3 million barrels per day in 2015 and climb to 9.5 million in 2016, “which would be the second-highest annual average level of production in U.S. history; the highest was 9.6 million bbl/d in 1970,” the EIA said in its short-term energy outlook released last week.

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The New Move to Regulate Methane

shale energy  methane emissions  emission reductions  regulation  epa ghg regulations  oil and natural gas development  american petroleum institute 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 15, 2015

As we look at the Obama administration’s plan to impose new regulations on methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations, some important points.

First, when it comes to methane emissions, the White House is focusing on a relatively small piece of the big picture. Data from EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program shows that methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum systems (161.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) represent just 28.5 percent of total methane emissions (567.3 million metric tons CO2 equivalent). That’s a fairly small wedge in the overall pie.


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2014 in Energy Charts

access  crude  crude markets  domestic energy  e15  economic benefits  emissions  energy regulation  epa  fracking  gasoline prices  global markets  horizontal drilling  hydraulic fracturing  methane emissions  offshore access  oil and natural gas development  ozone  regulation  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 31, 2014

So long, 2014. From an energy standpoint, you’ll be missed. Let’s count the ways:

Surging domestic oil and natural gas production – largely thanks to safe hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – is driving an American energy revolution that’s creating jobs here at home and greater security for the United States in the world.

It’s a revolution with macro-economic and geopolitical impacts, for sure. But it’s also a revolution that’s benefit virtually every American.

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More Good News on Methane Emissions

safe operations  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  fracking  natural gas development  methane emissions  industry standards  epa regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2014

New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.

The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.

The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:

“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”

The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.

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Technology, Innovation Fuel America’s Energy Surge

technology  innovation  fracking  methane  emissions  jobs 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 9, 2014

The Hill: Methane leaks from natural gas drilling and production have fallen from the last estimate more than a year ago, according to a study sponsored by the industry and an environmental group.

 

Leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, now represent 0.38 percent of production volumes, according to the study released Tuesday.

That is 10 percent lower than what the same University of Texas research team found in September 2013. Methane is a greenhouse has about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

“Study after study shows that industry-led efforts to reduce emissions through investments in new technologies and equipment are paying off,” Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said in a statement.

 

“This latest study shows that methane emissions are a fraction of estimates from just a few years ago,” he said.

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Energy Investments That Produce for America

offshore oil production  gulf of mexico  chevron  methane emissions  federal revenues  access  arctic  pipelines 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 3, 2014

New Orleans Times-Picayune: After more than a decade of work and a $7.5 billion investment, Chevron has started oil and gas production at its Jack and St. Malo fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The fields are among the largest in the region, expected to produce more than 500 million barrels of oil equivalent over the next three decades.

The Jack and St. Malo fields, discovered in 2003 and 2004 respectively, are located 25 miles apart in the Walker Ridge region of the Gulf about 280 miles south of New Orleans.

Oil and gas from the fields will flow back to a single, floating production platform located between the two fields. The platform has the capacity to produce up to 170,000 barrels of oil and 42 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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The NY Times’ Hot Air on Methane

methane emissions  epa regulation  oil and natural gas development  greenhouse gas emission reduction  industry standards  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 26, 2014

The New York Times has an editorial urging Washington to regulate emissions of methane – no surprise as “The Gray Lady” has to uphold her “green” bonafides. But methane as an “overlooked” greenhouse gas, as the editorial’s headline states? Hardly.

While the Times may have just discovered methane, industry has been working to reduce emissions – and is succeeding, at a rate that casts doubt on the need for a new federal regulatory layer.

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It’s Time to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

keystone xl pipeline  Environment  Energy Security  jobs  emissions  american energy  Economy  oil sands 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted November 18, 2014

Ahead of the Senate’s vote this evening on legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project, the 1,779 mile oil pipeline project has dominated energy news today. While the Senate floor continues to see debate, and the vote looks very close, here’s what we’re reading:

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